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"It will be a strange sort of a book, tho', I fear; blubber is blubber you know; tho' you may get oil out of it, the poetry runs as hard as sap from a frozen maple tree;--& to cook the thing up, one must needs throw in a little fancy.... Yet I mean to give the truth of the thing, spite of this." Moby-Dick
has a monumental reputation. Less well known are the novel's unexpectedly weird, funny, tantalizing, messy, and wondrous moments. Narrator Ishmael, along with the whaleship Pequod's other "meanest mariners, and renegades and castaways", is beguiled into joining Captain Ahab in his vengeful pursuit of the white whale that "dismasted" him. But along the way, Ishmael takes the reader along many a detour into variegated ways of knowing. In a tone "strangely compounded of fun and fury", Moby-Dick
brings outlandish curiosity to bear on the multitudinous, oceanic scale of our diverse world.
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